| 31 July, 2021 | 6 Min Read

How to onboard new hires like Facebook: The Blueprint

Facebook has a remarkable onboarding program that gives new talent a clearer view of the work culture and sets them on a fast track. This has proven to increase employee retention. Let's find out how Facebook runs their employee onboarding program.

When it comes to getting new hires acquainted with your company's values, standards, and activities as quickly as possible, employee onboarding is an effective program for such a course. According to SHRM, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding, which is quite a high retention rate compared to companies without this program.

One company that has mastered the art of employee onboarding is Facebook. The social networking company has a program structure that has helped new hires develop new skills, reach their potentials, and help them see a productive future with the company.

The unique structure of its onboard program makes it the model program for several companies wishing to onboard new employees in a grand yet productive manner. We will be showing you what makes the Facebook onboarding program so special.

About Facebook

Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world today. It has over 60,000 employees in 89 offices working relentlessly to ensure that people from around the world have an uninterrupted connection with their friends and families. The top-notch service this company provides is proof that they recruit some of the best talents from around the globe.

The legendary social networking company takes pride in its hiring process, as they only aim at recruiting the best. Mark Zuckerberg only believes in hiring people for who he could conveniently work as an employee, and this philosophy is applied all through the recruiting process at all levels. At Facebook, employees at the managerial level let new hires understand the company’s core values, so they can align their goals with that of the company

The employees at Facebook are happy working there and their positive feedback earned the company a 79/100 overall culture score.

Into the onboarding program of Facebook

Facebook prepares employees to be a part of their workforce by organizing a 6-week onboarding Bootcamp program and here’s what they do to improve onboarding experience:

1. Pre-boot camp activities

Before the first day of boot camp, ITs are assigned to install the needed systems and applications for new hires' practical work. The intensive preparation gets them set for the next day at Bootcamp where they take the first step in making an impact.

2. The 45-minute rule

Employees are assigned tasks to complete within the first 45-minutes of work. Engineers and developers have to fix bugs and implement small features that span through the six-week program. The company trusts its new employees to be active problem-solvers, so rather than bore them with introductory talks; they push them to the edge of innovation.

"What really motivates people at Facebook is building stuff that they're proud of." – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook.

Grove HR - Facebook Onboarding - Mark Zuckerberg's quote

3. Assigned Bootcamp mentors

For proper guidance, Facebook assigns its new employees to full-time employees who help them figure out what tasks to work on and assists when necessary. These mentors will help new employees make decisions on what teams to work on after completing the onboarding program.

4. Versatility

New employees are also expected to work on various teams at once to help them discover the exact product that piques their interest when the program has been completed. They work in several departments to help them gain new skills and see where their strengths and weaknesses lie. They work on the four corners of engineering until they have to spread out into the departments they are most skilled or interested in.

5. Introduction to culture

Facebook believes that the work culture isn’t determined by the managers or the CEOs, but by every individual in the company. Managers let employees democratize the culture; they make it clear that employees own the company too. Facebook has workplace groups dedicated to improving the work culture, to keep everyone involved in the process. The core values are also reflected at this stage.

Why it works

Proactivity is the secret behind the success of Facebook’s successful onboarding program. New hires, especially in the engineering department, are kept on their feet and are prepared to take up tasks and challenges as quickly as possible. Before the Bootcamp begins, employees have all the necessary tools and files on their devices. And the next day, they begin getting their hands dirty for the first 45 minutes before any formal orientation takes place

The collaborative work system adopted during the 6-weeks onboarding program also builds team spirit amongst new employees. The onboarding process lasts long enough to facilitate employees' decisions on whether Facebook has the right workspace and culture. So, they tend to give in their best when they begin working fully, as their choices were not influenced or unintentional.

It doesn’t stop there. New talents are introduced to the company’s culture, missions, and goals. This way, employees know what to deliver and expect from working at the company.

How to apply it

If you’re looking to adopt the Facebook onboarding process at your company, here are some things you should know:

1. Don't forget the pre-onboarding process

Employees get bored and tired of loads of paperwork companies give to them on their first day. Instead of giving them all on day one, share with them the documents that can be filled out in advance.

Plus, you need to facilitate the IT team to prepare the new hire's essential equipment and tools while ensuring managers have everything they need to guide the newcomers. This can be a complicated and easy-to-forget process.

The best way to do this is to have a checklist and a tool to automate the process so everyone won't miss out on what matters most.

Grove HR - Facebook onboarding - The automated onboarding checklist

Grove HR - The automated onboarding checklist


2. Introduce new hires to mentors

Help the new employees to get a better understanding of the work process by assigning them to mentors. This way, they get to see exactly how things are done and have needed supervision when they have to work on projects. These mentors also act as a guide that takes them through their transition from being a newbie to a full-fledged employee.

3. Encourage team collaboration

Do not group your new employees into specific teams immediately. Help them build a strong network and relationship with employees in other departments. To do so, allowing their work in different departments gives them a clearer view of their interest and also helps them build a team bond with employees across all departments.

4. Give new hires an overview of the work culture

Introduce new hires to the work culture and how it ties into the missions of your company. This way, employees know exactly what to expect when they work in your company. Let them understand that the company culture isn’t created by the managers, but by every employee present at the company – this gives them a feeling of accountability when taking action.

The secret to employee retention

Retaining employees is not an easy task. It just takes a few days for employees to decide whether your company is the right choice for them or not. Facebook fully understands this concept and has designed an onboarding program that suits it.

Keeping new hires proactive, accountable, and creative has been the key to Facebook’s successful onboarding program. The first few minutes of mind-racking challenges on the first day of the job help new hires see that mutualism exists, as the activities of the company prompt self-development.

With an effective onboarding plan and checklist, you can get your new hires to fit into the workplace easily and reduce the rate of employee turnover at your workplace. Remember, how employees feel at work influences the productivity of your company.

Download free the Onboarding plan and checklist →

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